CHARLESTON — West Virginia livestock farmers hurt by recent drought conditions may be eligible to apply for cost-share funding to help them purchase water tanks and fittings needed to provide their animals with water.
Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency this month because of the prolonged shortage of rainfall in all 55 counties.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows nearly all areas in the southern half of West Virginia fall in a moderate or severe drought designation. The northern half of the state is mostly considered “abnormally dry.”
The State Conservation Committee last week approved an emergency program to provide 50 percent of the total cost of water tanks and necessary fittings, with a maximum reimbursement of $400 per farmer, based on receipts.
Retroactive purchases of water tanks and fittings dating back to Sept. 1 will be eligible for reimbursement if the farmer provides receipts and documentation.
The tanks are to be used solely for the purpose of supplying livestock with drinking water.
The life span of the program is 5 years, meaning a cooperator who receives a reimbursement for water tanks and fittings cannot apply again for another 5 years.
Interested farmers should contact their local conservation district to participate in the emergency program. In Hampshire, Grant, Hardy, Mineral and Pendleton counties, the Potomac Valley Conservation District’s phone is 304-822-5174 and email is PVCD@wvca.us. o